Category Archives: News

Trief & Olk Attorneys Ted Trief and Jordan Rutsky Included in 2018’s Super Lawyers List by Thomson Reuters

In 2018, Ted Trief was included in the Super Lawyers list, an honor issued to 5% of attorneys. This is his fourth year receiving the honor.

In the same year, Mr. Rutsky was included in the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, an honor bestowed upon 2.5% of attorneys under 40 years of age or practicing for less than 10 years. This is his fourth year receiving the honor. Mr. Rutsky was also made partner at Trief & Olk in 2017.

The Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists are issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html. No aspect of this announcement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Two Trief & Olk Attorneys Included in Super Lawyers List by Thomson Reuters

We have some exciting news at Trief & Olk. In 2015 and 2016, partner Ted Trief was included in the Super Lawyers list, an honor issued by Thomson Reuters to 5% of attorneys. This year, Jordan Rutsky, Senior Counsel at Trief & Olk, joins him, as he was included in the 2016 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, an honor bestowed upon only 2.5% of attorneys under 40 years old or practicing less than 10 years.

The Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists are issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html. No aspect of this announcement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Who Wins in a World Without Forced Arbitration?

“Trief & Olk featured in NLJ”: In the highly charged debate over arbitration, businesses and consumer groups have tussled over the question of who stands to gain from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed ban on contract clauses that prevent class actions.

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Trief & Olk Announces Promotions

Trief & Olk is pleased to announce the following promotions: Shelly L. Friedland has been elevated to partner and Jordan Rutsky is now Senior Counsel, effective January 1st of this year.

Ms. Friedland, who joined Trief & Olk in 2014, graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, and received her B.A. in economics from Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude. Ms. Friedland has experience in a broad range of matters, including antitrust, securities, and consumer class actions, and general commercial litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. At Trief & Olk, Ms. Friedland has represented hourly employees in actions brought to enforce state and federal minimum wage laws, with a specific focus on enforcement of wage and hour regulations designed to protect tipped employees, who earn less than minimum wage. Ms. Friedland also represents both insureds and insurance brokers in litigation relating to insurance coverage disputes, including denial of coverage under life insurance and home owner’s insurance policies. Ms. Friedland is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey and is certified to practice in several federal courts, including the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the District Court of New Jersey, the Eastern District of Michigan, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First and Eighth Circuits. Ms. Friedland is a member of the American Bar Association and co-chaired the Emerging Issues Subcommittee for the Class Action and Derivative Suits Committee of the ABA’s Litigation Section.

Mr. Rutsky joined Trief & Olk in 2005. He received his J.D. from Fordham Law School in 2004, and his B.S. and B.A. in Business Administration – Finance and Political Science, respectively, at the University at Buffalo in 2001, where he was part of the Honors Program and earned the President’s Disparate Majors Award. While at Trief & Olk, Mr. Rutsky has focused primarily on medical malpractice, products liability and Labor Law construction accident claims. He has also represented clients in serious automobile accident cases, insurance denial claims, false arrest/false imprisonment/malicious prosecution claims, commercial claims, and in various other tort claims. Mr. Rutsky is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey and is certified to practice in several federal courts, including the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the District of New Jersey. He is a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the New York Academy of Trial Lawyers.

 

Trief & Olk lawyers named as finalists for public justice’s trial lawyer of the year award

In August 2012, Trief & Olk was honored by the nonprofit organization Public Justice for its central role in an ongoing class action litigation against many of the largest banks in the United States. The litigation, known as In re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, involved an accounting trick used by consumer banks to reorder the deductions made from consumer accounts which caused the accounts to bounce checks and overdraw account funds sooner. This accounting trick drove up the overdraft fees paid by bank customers, and resulted in big profits for the banks. Trief & Olk responded by filing and aggressively pursuing class action lawsuits on behalf of the banks’ thousands of victims.

As a result of the efforts of the litigation team, multiple banks elected to enter into settlement agreements, with the customers’ fees being paid back directly into their accounts. Bank of America reached a settlement agreement for $410 million, and settlements are awaiting court approval include Citizens Bank ($137.5 million), which Trief & Olk co-led, JP Morgan Chase Bank ($110 million) and Union Bank ($35 million).

TRIEF & OLK ANNOUNCES $137.5 MILLION SETTLEMENT IN CITIZENS OVERDRAFT CASE

April 25, 2012 – Trief & Olk, co-leading the multidistrict litigation against Citizens Financial Group, announces that plaintiffs have reached a $137.5 million settlement in In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation. The settlement is the second largest to date in the nationwide litigation. Citizens, a unit of the Royal Bank of Scotland, joins Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and several smaller lenders, in settling lawsuits related to overdraft fees.

TRIEF & OLK, CO-LEADING CASES AGAINST CITIZENS FINANCIAL GROUP AND CITIBANK, ON BEHALF OF THE PLAINTIFFS IN THE MULTIDISTRICT CHECKING ACCOUNT OVERDRAFT LITIGATION

December 20, 2011 – Trief & Olk is co-leading the multidistrict litigation against Citizens Financial Group and Citibank, related to the banks’ reordering of debit card transactions to increase overdraft fees. The multidistrict litigation includes many of the nation’s largest banks including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase. Trief & Olk is also on the plaintiffs’ executive committee with respect to the entire multidistrict litigation.

Approximately 60 cases, virtually all of them class actions, have been transferred from around the country to Judge King in Miami who is responsible for handling all pre-trial proceedings. There has been an approved settlement in November of 2011 in the Bank of America case for $410 million dollars. Other settlements are pending.


Trief & Olk is currently participating in class action litigation against most major national banks for improperly debiting consumer accounts by charging excessive overdraft fees.

News stories in major publications have reported on this practice and it has been scrutinized by consumer groups and been the subject of governmental action.

Instead of assessing charges made with a debit card in chronological order, the banks have re-ordered them to post the largest transaction first in order to incur the greatest number of overcharges.

As a result of this practice, the banks have unfairly collected billions of dollars from their customers in overdraft fees.

Here’s how it works: assume a bank customer has a checking account with a $100 balance and in chronological order makes four purchases of $10, $25, $35, and $101. If the charges are assessed to the account in this order, one overdraft fee would result.

However, by debiting the charges from largest to smallest, four overdraft fees are charged.

In this class action, Trief & Olk is part of a team that is seeking to recover these unfair and deceptive charges for consumers.